Face Mask Pattern

Face Mask Pattern

Never before in my lifetime or my parents, have we seen a global pandemic. While I appreciate being protected by staying inside, I know healthcare workers and first responders are the frontlines. I’m assuming since most of our country’s supply of protective wear such as gloves, masks, and sterilization wipes are mostly sourced from China, we have another infection control issue at hand. 

When I checked Pinterest for a mask pattern, I grabbed one I thought was suitable, and while I made 25 in my first batch, I wasn’t pleased with the fit of the mask. From having worked in our local operating room for two years wearing surgical masks daily, a well fit one to me means it includes most of my nose and mouth while still letting me breathe easily. These homemade masks are meant to protect ourselves from droplet precautions such as if someone coughs or sneezes near us. They are not meant to provide viral protection, but a pocket can be made so that additional barriers can be placed within the mask if needed. My mask design is easy to sew, fits well to the face, is comfortable and offers a design that prevents gaps around the nose and jawline, while still allowing you to breathe well.

Though there seems to be much misinformation on the internet, I’ve seen many masks made out of flannel, cotton (pillowcase), and jersey knit (T-shirt) materials. Corded elastic or ⅛” wide elastic can be used for the ear ties. Filtration can be increased by adding various layers within, such as vacuum cleaner bag, tea towel, but they also decrease breathability as well. Here’s a great article on what materials presented best for the DIY mask: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/

 

T-Shirt Quilt Project

T-Shirt Quilt Project

THE BEGINNING

In the past I’ve seen some projects as mountains I was scared to attack. I didn’t even want to take baby steps towards a final result. I thought it would be easier to just leave the stack in a corner somewhere, like my other unfinished projects that grow dust. The t-shirt quilt was always a mountain for me. After a few quilts under my belt, and some bad business choices where I pretty much volunteered my time to create some, I learned valuable lessons that not only refined my process, but enabled me to create a better quality product in the least amount of time.

GATHERING INFORMATION

Here are some questions that I now ask my customers up front:

1.My price estimate is $250-$350 after you provide all the tshirts up front. Are you comfortable with that price? 

2.Would you like just the tshirt fronts or any of the tshirt backs included in the overall design?

3.Are you providing enough tshirts to create the quilt for your desired size?

   Twin: 25 tshirts at 15×15” squares

   Full: 25 tshirts at 15×15” squares

   Queen:30 tshirts at 15×15” squares

   King:35 tshirts at 15×15” squares

4.Do you want just the tshirts sewn together, or do you prefer a solid color spacing them all out?

5.What fabric do you want for backing material? A solid or a print?

6.What size overall were you hoping for? Twin? Queen? King?

7.What would your deadline be? I require 8-12weeks from receiving the tshirts to get started, and will need half the money up front for supplies. 

8.Does the person the quilt is intended for have any allergies? We can get interior batting that is either a natural cotton or a polyester blend. 

THE PROCESS

I. The first step is collecting materials:

You will need the customer to give you agreed upon number of tshirts, and their arrangement preference if they have one. 

Internal batting.

Kona cotton for the sections between the t-shirt panels, 3-4 yards. I used black.

108” backing material in a solid color, 3 yards. I used black.

Edging material. I used an additional 2 yards of the black Kona cotton for the binding. 

3-4 skeins of purl cotton for the hand quilting and a wide eyed tapestry needle. 

Large safety pins to tack layers together. 

8 yards lightweight interfacing. I use Pellon iron on stabilizer.

II. I cut up the sides of each T-shirt, and around the collar and sleeves, separating the fronts and backs. I put in a pile T-shirt sides that should be included in the top design.
III. I measure all the designs from the tshirts I have and see which square size all of the designs will fit into. I typically end up using a 15”x15” square. 

IV. I cut out a square template to use out of that square size from paper. If you have a rotary cutter and clear grids, you can just use that. 

V.I then cut the same number of squares I’m placing on the top quilt, out of the thin, iron on interfacing, the same 15×15” squares. 

VI.Taking one interfacing square, I lay it on top of a t-shirt front and line up the design underneath. I can see through the interfacing to the design, which allows me to line it up straight. I then cut the T-shirt front out to match the size of the interfacing. 

VII.I iron each interfacing piece to the back of the t-shirt fronts I’ve cut out. If you have both cotton and polyester t-shirts in the mix, please remember to adjust your iron settings to each material to avoid any burning. 

VIII.Once you have your pile of square tops that are backed with interfacing, you need to square them up with the rotary cutter and mat, because they probably stretched out a bit when interfaced. Make them all perfect, 15×15” squares.

IX.You could either sew these T-shirt squares directly together, one row at a time, OR, you can add rows of a solid color between them all. To do this, out of cotton material, cut rectangles, 4” wide by 15” tall. Cut as many rectangles as you have squares. 

X.Lay out quilt arrangement on table or floor. Assemble one row at a time, horizontally. Sew one T-shirt to one rectangle, then repeat. Then repeat, sewing each row together. 

XI. You need to now cut lengths of cotton to divide each row up. I cut continuous lengths of 4” strips from the cotton. I placed that 4” solid piece right sides together at the lower edge of the first assembled row, and stitched it on. Then I placed the 2nd assembled row below that divider strip. I repeated that until all the rows were assembled.
XII. I added additional 4” strips to the outer sides of the quilt as well, followed by strips at the top and bottom, enclosing all the t-shirts in the grid. 
XIII.I then made a sandwich, placing the quilt top face down, followed by whatever batting you purchased for the center, then the quilt backing. I place large safety pins across the entire quilt to hold all the layers together. I try to maintain flatness all the way across, occasionally flipping it over to make sure it’s not pulling from the front side. 
XIV. Using purl cotton and a tapestry needle, I use a super long piece of thread to hand stitch (a running stitch) between the rows on the solid color. I typically sew two rows between each section. I do not try to be perfect. It’s my hand stitching that gives it a personal touch. Alternatively, you could take your quilt at this point to a long arm and have it quilted professionally, OR even stitching wide rows over the entire thing with a basic machine. 

XV.I then cut additional strips of 3” width of cotton to do a edge binding with. I sew these strips together to create a length that will reach all the way around the quilt edge. I start by placing the binding strip on the top side of the quilt (you can start it anywhere, just not on a corner) at the edge, folding over the starting point by ½”, and sewing down one side at a time. When you get to a corner, you will need to take it out of your machine, create a 45degree angle with the fabric strip and then continue sewing down the next side. This will create a nice, mitred corner. 

XVI.Once you’ve made it all the way around, you will turn the binding strip towards the back of the quilt, and tuck under the edge and secure with pins, exactly like bias tape is used. If you’re talented, you could stitch in the ditch from the front of the binding, or if you’re not that confident like me, you can just hand stitch the binding down on the backside, being sure to mitre those corners.

That’s it! Your quilt should be complete! 

Congratulations! 

Play Kitchen Oven Mitt

Play Kitchen Oven Mitt

I always thought I’d have daughters. I grew up with my two sisters and so I guess that’s what I expected I’d get. When God blesses me with two boys, I was kind of scared, as it was completely uncharted territory for me!
When my sons were little, I wanted to get them started on the idea of home economics. I thought since I enjoyed that as a little girl, they possibly would too. My husband and I got them the little IKEA kitchenette, and gave it a few upgrades.

I sewed a small apron and oven mitts for them to give them more dress up play opportunities. From the minute my sons donned the apron and oven mitts, they were in pretend baking heaven! They both loved that they could be “just like Mommy”, and act out the same things they saw me doing in the kitchen.

To me, these are quick and simple oven mitts, that can be made quickly, and from scraps you already have, or maybe up cycled from clothing you no longer want. Create memories and visual play with these great designs for the little one in your life!

Download your free Play Kitchen Oven Mitt and Instructions.

Summer Kids Shorts

Summer Kids Shorts

My sweet niece is in love with Paris! Her parents surprised the family with news that they would be traveling to Paris over the summer. My niece needed a Paris wardrobe fast! I love to sew for this beautiful little girl! 

I spent about 20 minutes sewing up a pair of shorts from Made Everyday to add to her Paris wardrobe.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Summer Paris Shorts

I used fabric with Paris icons similar to this fabric from Amazon. 

 

summer paris shorts

This shorts pattern is so easy to follow that my 7 year old son made a pair for the neighbor girl down the street.

Summer Shorts
Kids sewing

  My beautiful niece in Paris, France!

Summer Shorts
DIY Blue Jay Costume

DIY Blue Jay Costume

Our oldest son started asking for a blue jay costume back in early 2017. At first I was excited, and thought I would make simple wings  he could fly around the yard with! But as most best intentions go, I didn’t even begin the project and the idea soon faded away. Every few months, my son would remind me about the costume and I started to feel guilty for saying I didn’t have time.

In September my son was still asking. So, with full assurance, I started on a Blue Jay costume for Halloween! 

 I  drew the design in my art journal to get a good idea of what the shapes would be for the costume. 


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

I grabbed an old supply sheet we had from my husband’s work and cut out the general shapes of the bird body. I stapled the edges together and had Nathan slip into it. The costume was love at first sight for Nathan! After a successful sample pattern, I used  plastic template pieces to cut out the real body pieces from white blizzard fleece.


I sewed the body up, leaving a hole at the back neck for Nathan to step into. And I lightly stuffed the front belly and back tail area with ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-wplink-url-error=”true”>Fabri-Tac along the backside of the wing, overlapping them as I went.

I waited 24 hours for the wings to dry, and then used acrylic paints to apply the feather looking designs.

The acrylics make the fleece stiffen a bit and slightly hard to the touch, but they dry exceptionally fast and create vibrant colors. I used this same acrylic paint to give the bird body some color and simulated feather texture.

I ran out of black fleece, so I ended up using several sheets of thin, EVA Foam for the tail feathers. I painted them and glued them on with  Fabri-Tac.

And for the finishing piece, I created a lightweight head mask out of thin EVA foam. I started by making a paper pattern, and achieved the sizing by comparing it to one of the boys’ knight helmets. After knowing the paper sample hat fit, I used those pieces to then cut out of foam. I used contact cement to glue the foam pieces together. Once my mask was done, I added a few areas of acrylic paint to highlight it and hot glued on some feathers to the beak.


The shoes covers were also made of

The whole project took me about a week to complete and was a fun and definitely unique request to fulfill! I was thankful I had followed through on the project!

And maybe it’s just my bias, but I think his cuteness and uniqueness may just have awarded him extra candy on trick or treat night!



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Sewing Simple Baby Gifts

Sewing Simple Baby Gifts

Baby Toys

These lovely giraffe rattles were inspired by Lotta Jansdotter, in her book, Simple Sewing For Baby. The baby can hear the gentle rattle of jingle bells inside, easily hold onto it’s trunk, and will LOVE to munch on its ribboned ears. They are sooo easy.. I made a small army!

Ribbon Tag Blanket also inspired by Lotta Jansdotter, in the same book, Simple Sewing For Baby. The blanket is about an 8″ square and easy for Baby to hold on to, and munch on the ribbons. Easy to machine wash too, and get rid of the germs!

Baby shoes inspired by Joanna of Stardust Shoes. She incredibly provides a pattern for free on her blog for home use (only). I have a special friend I intend to gift these adorable shoes to! 

These burp cloths were inspired by a favorite blogger, Erin, @ Sutton Grace
 
 

Bibs for him… I used Simplicity 2924, view F for this one. I usually wait until JoAnns is having a sale and buy the patterns for $1. or $1.99. Then I stock up : )! For the closure, I used cute button snaps. They come as a kit, and I used the backing fabric to cover each button snap!

Baby gifts ready to mail. I think I made all this (and a little more) in 2 days.. Sure do get lost in it all when I am having so much fun!!!! Where do the hours go? So….. I say, “Bébé bienvenu”! (Welcome Baby)! And, I hope you enjoy your handmade gifts, my friends!

 
Homemade Baby Gifts